Monday, April 25, 2016
Reader's Review: "Grave Measures" by R. R. Virdi
Synopsis from Amazon:
What do shadows darting across the walls, cryptic writing, black fog, and a little girl who can see ghosts have in common? Paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves, has forty-four hours to find out.
To make matters worse, his years of body-hopping and monster-hunting are catching up with him. He’s losing his mind. An old contact has shut him out. To top it all off, something’s skulking through an asylum, killing patients.
Three guesses who might be next, and the first two don’t count. The writing on the wall is not so clear. But one thing is: if he doesn’t figure this out he’s a dead man—well, deader—and a strange young girl might follow. Vincent’s got his back against a wall, and that wall’s crumbling.
Some days it’s not worth it to wake up in someone else’s body.
Oh heck yes! Vince Graves is BAAAAACK!! And BETTER THAN EVER!!
In light of how much I enjoyed the first book (the fact that it showed up on no less than three "Top Reads" hit lists in 2014 should be a fairly good indication), it should come as no surprise that I was definitely anticipating this sequel! I loved the concepts for the paranormal dealings, and the thrill, with all the plot twists and the deftly-balanced foreshadowing and the red herrings that a good, solid mystery novel should have. Ideas were explained clearly, and not one moment was wasted on mundane or extraneous detail. The man makes a bowl of Lucky Charms an entertaining experience. And don't even get me started on the characters: they leaped off the page, in full color and life, so that reading the book felt like watching a film or TV episode. I loved them all, I didn't want it to end--and I wanted more.
I dove eagerly into "Grave Measures", all excited to see which characters carried over from the first book, and what new shenanigans Graves would get himself into. Virdi delivered on every level--and then some! As with "Grave Beginnings", where our smart-mouthed hero regains consciousness in a buried coffin, the author seems to delight in beginning his book with an impossible escape... so for Book 2, it's a strait jacket. From there, it's right into the mystery, dislocated shoulder and all. We first met Graves in the body of a museum curator--this time, it's a mental patient. (SPOILER: apparently there's an "easter egg" referring to this in the first book... look for it!) Vince must navigate the daily drag of a mental asylum to find the entity that is killing the patients one by one--before it realizes that one of its victims has somehow come back to life and is trying to stop it. But luckily, our intrepid investigator doesn't have to work alone--Virdi thrills fans of his first book by bringing back a crowd favorite to help him with the search!
Once again, I completely adored the characters--even the new ones! Virdi populates his book with a complementary cast every bit as colorful as the first--and maybe a whole lot more dangerous, too! The unbridled creativity is sheer joy from start to finish. The expansion of the paranormal "otherworld" with the introduction of the Neravene is aptly suited, upping the ante just that much more, and paving the way for a whole host of new concepts and promises of adventures-to-be!
It's moderately violent (as most paranormal adventures are), and Vince has in no way tamed his foul mouth at all--but at the same time, it's hilarious and rollicking and compelling so that once you start, you will not be able to put this one down! Once again, "Grave Measures" gets a full-on *****FIVE STAR***** rating, and you BET I am going to add an Upstream Writer Certified ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED to it! For lovers of supernatural, of paranormal investigations, of mystery, comedy, and fans of Grave Beginnings--rejoice! You will NOT be disappointed!
Further Reading (Paranormal/Sci-fi High Ratings):
-Grave Beginnings--R. R. Virdi
-Abiding Flame--Pauline Creeden
-Cybermancer Presents--Andrew Barber
-Escape from Neverland--Nils Visser (Okay, so this is urban fantasy... but it's still recommended!)